By CECILIA FOX
Record Herald Writer
Courtesy of the Record Herald; Printed 4.21.13
TIPP CITY – After much discussion and investigating several design options, city council has unanimously decided to move forward with the Streetscape project as designed.
“No plan was going to make everyone happy,” councilman Bryan Budding said.
Council agreed that moving ahead with the project is the best option for Tipp City.
At the last council meeting, city staff was directed to investigate the cost and the impact any changes would have to the design of the Streetscape project; specifically upgrading to clay instead of concrete pavers and keeping the exisiting street lights.
City staff looked at different options for sidewalk pavers determined that changing from concrete to clay pavers would cost the city an additional $22,000, but would not delay construction.
It was also determined that keeping the existing street lights could save about $17,000, but changing the Streetscape design now could add up to two weeks to the construction schedule.
Council President John Kessler pointed out that, though keeping the street lights might save money now, retrofitting them to keep up with advancing lighting technology later would cost the city more in the long run.
During the study session, several residents and downtown business owners weighed in on the issue. Many agreed that the city should stick to the original design plan.
“At this point, making any decision to lengthen this is going to be horrible for all of the businesses,” one business owner said.
Lauryn Bayliff, a Restoration Board member who spoke at the last council meeting, said she was unhappy with the design of the project and argued that the board should have been involved. She described the project as tearing out “all the historic elements of the downtown historic district.”
City Manager Jon Crusey explained that because the plan is consistent with the Streetscape design approved in 2001, the city did not seek further approval from other city boards in 2012 when it was added to the downtown utilities replacement project.
“The seven of us are charged with making decisions now regardless of what happened in the past,” councilman Pat Hale said.
Hale further explained that Streetscape was added in December after city staff realized the damage that the utility replacement would do to the downtown.
This did not leave a lot of time to discuss the Streetscape design details.
City council, unwilling to risk delaying the project, unanimously agreed to move forward with the Streetscape project as designed.
“On a project like this it’s going to be very difficult to please everyone and I want to thank all who have provided input,” councilman Joe Gibson said. “I believe eventually, if we all just hang in there, it will turn out for the best.”
In other business, Council approved an ordinance appropriating additional funds from the electric fund for the replacement of the traffic signal at the intersection of Fourth and Main Streets. In March, Council reviewed the results of a study of that signal and decided to replace it as part of the Streetscape project.
Council also awarded the bid for the Main Street Lift Station improvement project, which is Tipp City’s portion of the TCA sanitary sewer and pump station improvements. The contract went to Danis Building Construction, who submitted the low bid of $5,597,058. Tipp City’s portion of this project is $1,035,662.